CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A popular Lowcountry attraction is asking for help to stay afloat. The South Carolina Aquarium is at risk of cutting back on some vital programs, and they have launched a campaign to save them.
The ‘Our World Without: Save the Heart and Soul of the South Carolina Aquarium’ campaign seeks to raise $1.6 million by March 2021 to save their educational programming and Sea Turtle Care Center.
“One month of care in our sea turtle care center is about 25 thousand dollars, so you know those costs are there and they’re not going away,” said Brent Duncan, Advertising & Community Engagement Manager for the aquarium. “Our staff has been going above and beyond, but we do have fixed costs for care, and that care continues regardless if we’re in a pandemic or not.”
Duncan says if they do not raise the money, they may not be able to take in any more turtles to the care center.
In March, the aquarium had to close its doors because of the pandemic. They reopened in mid-May but are still facing a huge financial hardship.
Their budgeted revenue is down at least $3.5 million, and they are looking at a projection of upwards of $5 million for the year. The aquarium also had to reduce their staff by 25% since the pandemic started.
For anyone who wants to donate to the center, click here.
Duncan says there are other ways to help. They have a virtual “turtle trek 5k” race which is happening this month. Visit the South Carolina Aquarium’s website for more details.